The books you'll want to read.
PI Roxane Weary is barely keeping it together. Since her father’s death, her drinking has spiraled a bit out of control, and she would love nothing better than to hide in her bed and let it continue. Her relationship with her father, an alcoholic cop killed on the job, was rocky at best, and now haunts her. Roxanne is also sleeping with her father’s former partner Tom, while also pining after her last girlfriend. Her life is….messy, to say the least.
But her brother has sent her a client—Danielle Stockton—and her story is grim. Fifteen years ago, Danielle’s brother Brad was dating a pretty blonde teenager named Sarah Cook who disappeared the same night her parents were brutally murdered. Brad was a black kid from the tough side of town, and he went down for the murders. When Roxanne agrees to meet with Danielle, Brad is only two months out from being executed. Danielle maintains that her brother is innocent, but no one has seen or heard from Sarah since that night. Until now.
Danielle thinks she saw Sarah outside a local gas station, and wants to hire Roxane to find her and exonerate her brother. Roxane is frankly skeptical—it’s unlikely that Sarah would suddenly turn up in town after fifteen years, but Roxane needs the money, so she agrees to the job. But even after Roxane finds the woman Danielle most likely saw that night—NOT Sarah Cook—she can’t stop digging into the original case. Something doesn’t feel right about the initial investigation. And the local cops are doing everything in their power to keep Roxane out of town and out of their hair—which only spurs Roxane’s curiosity on. When another teenage girl goes missing, Roxane is sent over the edge of the investigation, and those closest to her think she’s finally lost it. But could Roxane be on to the truth after all this time?
Lepionka brings a sharp new voice to the PI scene, and a compelling investigator in Roxane Weary. She is world-weary but dogged, and despite her many problems is an empathetic character. And while Roxane may be hard-drinking, the pathology behind it is more nuanced and thoughtful than most, mired in family history and complicated relationships. Roxane’s fluid sexuality also brings a refreshing and welcome change to the stereotypical private eye.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been excited about a new PI series, but this has earned a place on the top of my reading wish list—I can’t wait for the next.